Rajapaksa government using pandemic to ban protests

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A ban imposed by the Sri Lankan government on all protests and gatherings is a major attack on democratic rights, initiated by the Rajapakse government to suppress a growing wave of social opposition, said in an article published by World Social Web Site. 

It further adds, “It was announced in response to strikes and demonstrations involving tens of thousands of workers, farmers, students and fishermen in recent weeks, against attacks on social and living conditions and democratic rights in recent weeks.”

“The claim that the measures have been taken to protect the masses from the pandemic is false. The Rajapakse government reopened the economy months ago, allowing the full operation of factories. Minimal or no health safety measures, including social-distancing, have been implemented in these workplaces, with employees compelled to travel to work on congested buses and railways, paving the way for a rapid spread of the virus.

Addressing cooperative society representatives on Monday, President Gotabhaya Rajapakse hinted at a complete abandonment of the existing limited health restrictions.

“The only solution in the world to face the COVID-19 pandemic is vaccination,” he said, then added: “The country can be fully opened by September. If we are unable to open the economy sooner, then the economy cannot go ahead.” His comments were made amid rising numbers of people being infected with the deadly Delta and Lambda variants.

A day after the DGHS guidelines were announced, police moved to end all protests, declaring that participants were violating the quarantine laws,” it explains.

The national crackdown on all protests is the latest in a series of anti-democratic actions against the working class by the Rajapakse government, said in the article. 

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